AIIB head fields questions from news executives
Updated: 2016-06-01 09:58
Suthichai Yoon, chief adviser, The Nation Multimedia Group
Imagine that you were in the middle of a board meeting, and I were a board member from Thailand, and my first question to you as a CEO of the AIIB would be: Mr CEO, we seem to have a brand image problem. If we are launching a product, people may think this product is Chinese, it's not international. The No 1 question to the CEO is: how do you plan to correct this brand image?
We have heard very critical comments on China's initiative. We never, ever, engage in any vocal arguments with these people because it's not worth it. In my view, trust has to be earned. Credibility has to be earned. You cannot talk people into belief. You can exhaust all the nice words in any dictionary and you still fail to convince these people. Just forget about it. Do your job.
If we have a project to upgrade a slumin a country in the ASEAN, do you think this is a Chinese project? We cleanup the dirty water. We provide safe drinking water. We provide electricity to low-income people. When we finance a project in South Asian countries, improving the power transmission system and contributing to the reduction of global warming, do you think this is a Chinese project? None of the projects are Chinese projects. All of these projects, I would say, are benefiting the local people.
China does not want to borrow from this bank. It doesn't make sense for China to start this bank and borrow massively from this bank. India can borrow, India is No 2. China does not want to borrow ... even though China has 30 percent of the bank's shares, contributing 30 percent of the $100 billion. China will also contribute $50 billion as a donation to this bank to establish a special fund.
You may remember President Xi Jinping said that in the last three decades, China has benefited from the general support of the World Bank, the ADB and all the bilateral sources, and now it's China's turn to contribute. That is the basic idea or principle of this institution.
So our first batch of projects will speak volumes for the basic principle of this institution. With the goal of public institutions, combined with the efficiency of private sector companies, we are going to serve as a new role model. That's why we do not want to clone any existing institution. We want to be a new entity with the strong features of private sector companies and public sector companies. That is why we believe this bank is so attractive.